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'By poetry we - we the masses - mean something vague, something untrue, something uplifting, something beautiful, something so eloquent it isn't for everyday. The word "poetry" is up there with "soul". And I am against it.'
My Grandmother's Glass Eye deploys its considerable learning, its intelligent expertise, wittily, memorably. It is an exercise in demystification and clarity. If you want to know how poetry works on the page, here are sure-footed accounts of particular poems. There is something Johnsonian in Craig Raine's common sense - an elegant wrecking ball used with precision and delicacy to pick off the pretentious, the platitudinous, the over-promoted. Here, poetry is well read, attentively read, by a practitioner whose range runs from Bion to John Lennon, from Bishop to Balanchine.